Spend $1,000 get $200!

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Laser Cutting Design Density Guidelines

Tips and guidelines to reduce design density
Can Laser Cutting Show Fine Detail?

Table of Contents

An overly dense design will incur extra costs and slows production

Here are a few of our favorite tricks for keeping your parts affordable and quicker to cut.

Reduce the number of holes or “pierces”

Each time hole or feature is created, the laser makes a pierce. The pierce can be the slowest part of the cutting process, and each pierce can be from 10 to 2,000 milliseconds, depending on the material. Those milliseconds add up, and can increase the cost of your part.

If you have a perforated pattern, consider spacing the holes apart more, or increase the size of the holes to reduce the total number of holes in the design.

Refrain from super intricate, and delicate patterns

Our fiber laser is known for it’s accuracy and ability to cut small details, but, there are still limitations. Each cut means time that the laser is burning through the metal. On intricate designs with small bridges, this can result in the metal getting burnt edges and at times even warping.

In the example below, you can see burn marks on the edges of this intricate design. To remedy this, we asked the customer to thicken the joining lines of the pattern.

You can see burn marks on the edges of this intricate pendant pattern.

Eliminate duplicate lines and unnecessary geometry

Sometimes when designing using layers, guides, construction lines, rulers, etc, there will be unnecessary design artifacts in your exported DXF file. We recommend opening your DXF file running a few checks:

  • All unused layers are deleted
  • Hidden or locked objects are removed
  • Guides and construction lines are removed
  • Text notes and dimensions are removed
  • Borders, titles and part numbers should be deleted

Basically, the only geometry that we need is the cutting path for the laser to follow. Check out our Design Guidelines for more details. 

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We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Zinc plus Clear Chromate

Thread Size4-40 x .250″
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).168″
Minimum sheet thickness0.040″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener materialSteel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole..314″
Recommended panel materialSteel/Aluminum
Coating typeZinc
Aluminum material ranges (5052, 6061, 7075)0.040″-0.125″
Steel material ranges (CRS, HRPO, HR)0.048″-0.119″